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VOLTAIC PILE." (See Galvanism.) him a quiet residence on his estate, where VOLTAIRE, Francis Marie Arouet de. Voltaire became intimate with the elder If any man ever showed the natural sov- Caumartin, who awakened in him a great ereignty of the intellect, and its superiori- admiration of Henry IV, and of Sully, ty to all earthly splendor, it was this dis- and gave him a lively idea of the court tinguished man, who, in a nation, and of Louis XIV. Hence originated the at a time, when the learned and scientific Henriade and the Siècle de Louis XIV. were considered in the light of upper do- In 1716, he was imprisoned in the Bastile, mestics of the great, undertook to secure on the charge of having written a satire for them an independent station. His in- against the government. He remained fluence was felt throughout Europe; and in confinement a year and a half, and, in never did a man, by the force of his writ- this situation, planned a poem upon the ings, obtain such power over his nation. league, the result of which was the HenVoltaire was born at Chatenay, near Par- riade. He likewise improved his tragedy is, Feb. 20, 1694. His father, Francis Edipus, which was brought upon the stage Arouet, notary of the Châtelet, and finally in 1718, and was performed forty-five treasurer of the chamber of accounts, times in one year. Meanwhile, the poet possessed considerable property, so that had been released from prison in consehe was enabled to give his son an excel- quence of the real author of the satire lent education. Voltaire received his having disclosed himself, but had been first instruction in the Jesuits' college of banished from Paris. Now, however, in Louis XIV., under Porée and Le Jay. consequence of the regent, the duke of Here he displayed talents which warrant- Orleans, being delighted with the Edied the highest expectations. In his third pus, he was allowed to return. His father year he was able to repeat the fables of himself was so much pleased with the repLa Fontaine, and, somewhat later, recited, resentation of this play, that he embraced from memory, a poem of Rousseau (his son with tears in his eyes, and from Moisade), before the celebrated Ninon de this time left him to his own inclination. , l'Euclos, who was so much pleased with Voltaire now fell passionately in love with the talent of the boy, that she left him a the marchioness of Villars, so that his atlegacy of 2000 livres to purchase a library. tention was withdrawn, for a time, from According to the custom of the time, he poetry ; but, having recovered from this was obliged to leave the family name to passion, he wrote the play of Artemire, the eldest son, and therefore assumed which was unsuccessful. It was afterthat name which has since become so fa- wards brought upon the stage, in 1725, mous. His father wished to see him a under the name of Marianne, when it lawyer and advocate ; but his love of liter- met with much applause, and was often ature and general study did not allow him repeated. In 1722, he accompanied madlong to devote himself to the law. He ame de Rupelmonde to Brussels, where wrote poetry continually, and cultivated he became acquainted with Jean Baptiste his talents in the company of men of Rousseau ; but the characters of the two much accomplishment and wit, but of were so different, that their acquaintance little principle; such as Chaulieu, the terminated in a complete separation. In marquis de la Fare, marshal Villars, the 1723, Voltaire was engaged in completing grand prior of Vendome, the prince of the Henriade, which, about this period, apConti, and others. Here he caught the peared for the first time in London, under tone of polished society which distin- the name of the League, but without the guishes his writings, and which greatly consent of Voltaire, and in a very impercontributed to his influence. His father fect state. The president Hénault, and was displeased with his mode of life, and other friends, disturbed him so much by entreated the marquis of Chateauneuf, their criticisms upon this production, that French minister to Holland, to take the he threw it into the fire. Hénault snatchyoung Voltaire with him as a page. He ed it out, with these words : “ Your poem consented ; but Voltaire fell in love with is like your hero: notwithstanding his the daughter of madame Noyer, a refu- faults, he was a great king, and the best gee in Holland, and was therefore sent of men.” In 1726, Voltaire was again back to his family. His father would re- imprisoned, at the age of thirty-two ceive him into favor again only on condi- years, in the Bastile. He had offended tion of his resuming the study of the law. ihe chevalier de Rohan, a proud young A friend of his father, monsieur Caumar- nobleman, who, in consequence, caused tin, at length released him from the ne- him to be beaten by his servant. Voltaire cessity of pursuing this study, by offering now learned to fence, and challenged the


-chevalier, whose relations thereupon pro- was afterwards taken under the proter. cured an order for his imprisonment." At tion of the pope himself (Benedict XIV), the end of six months, he was released and has remained upon the stage with at the intercession of the marchiones, de the reputation of one of the best Freuch Prie, the favorite of the regent, who ad- productions of its kind. His Mérope (1743) mired his poetical talents; but he was was the first French drama which produced obliged to leave the kingdom. He went a strong effect without the aid of love. On to England, where his Henriade was pub- the representation of this piece, the customi lished by subscription, at the request of was introduced of calling for the appearking George I and the princess of Wales. ance of the writer. Before this time, From this he obtained considerable emol. Voltaire had gained the favor of the court ument. Ile became acquainted with by a political service. He corresponded many men of rank, and distinguished with the crown-prince of Prussia, afierscholars, but give such license to his wit, wards Frederic the Great, who had a that it is said Pope's mother was some- great fondness for French literature. times driven away, by his conversation, When Frederic ascended the throne, in from her son's table. In 1728, he received 1740, an alliance with him was considered permission to return to France, where he desirable. Voltaire was sent to Berlin, put his acquisitions into a lottery. By and discovered the ground upon which this, as well as by other fortunate specu- Frederic had declined the advances which lations (he traded under the name of Du had been made him. The alliance was Moulin, and sent ships to Africa), he ob- concluded as soon as France had declared tained great wealth, so that, afier he came berself against Austria. Voltaire now deinto possession of the estates of his father sired, as the reward of his services, some and brother, his income amounted to marks of favor from the court, to facilitate nearly 130,000 livres, which he employed his admission to the academy, which had in a praiseworthy manner: he particular- been opposed by his numerous enemies. ly aided youthful literary talent. In 1730, He was therefore invited to compose a he brought the tragedy of Brutus upon piece for the celebration of the nuptials the stage ; but, notwithstanding much of the dauphin, and wrote the Princess of merit, it did not please universally. His Navarre. The piece was approved, if talent for dramatic poetry was not by the public, at least by the court; doubted ; and Fontenelle and La Motte and his reward was the place of gentiladvised him not to employ his genius homme ordinaire, and historian of France. any more in this manner. His answer As such, he planned a history of the then was the Zaire, a play, which produced existing war of 1741. It was not, howa deep and universal impression, and is ever, until 1746 that he received a place still a favorite on the French stage. in the academy. In the mean time, be He afterwards attacked the pretensions of was persecuted with lampoons of all the church with such vehemence, in his kinds, so that he withdrew, with madame Lettres philosophiques, that the parliament du Chatelet, to the court of king Slanis. of Paris condemned the book to be burnt; laus, at Luneville. During this time were and an order was issued for the arrest of produced his tragedies Sémiramis, Orestes, the author. He therefore passed some and Rome Saurée, the subject of which years in concealment at Cirey, near Vassi, was the conspiracy of Catiline. After the in Champagne, where he was treated death of madame du Chatelet, in 1749, with the greatest kindness by the mistress Voltaire returned to Paris, where he conof the estate, the marchioness du Chat- tributed much to form the celebrated actor elet (9. v.), and wrote his Elémens de la Lekain. Frederic the Great had hitherto Philosophie de Newton, to make his coun- vainly invited him to Potsdam; but being trymen acquainted with the great discov- told that Frederic had called Arnaud the eries of the English philosopher. He rising and bim the setting sun, his selfwished, as he expressed it, to exhibit the love was so much touched that he sprang Briareus in miniature. But scientific out of bed, and exclaimed, " Frederic ma labors were by no means so well adapted judge of atlairs of state, but not of me! to his powers as the culture of the belles- Yes; I will go and show him that I am lettres. He soon returned to poetry, and not setting yet.” He went to Potsdam in wrote, in 1736, bis Alzire, and, in 1741, June, 1750. Frederic treated him with liis Mohammed. The attacks in the last the greatest distinction: in a moment of upon fanaticism displeased the clergy, enthusiasm, he even kissed his hand: and, by the advice of the minister, cardi- Voltaire occupied an apartment under nal Fleury, he withdrew the piece; yet it that of the king, with permission to risit


him at certain hours, and had a table and reigned like a petty prince among his equipage at his command. He spent every subjects. Here he erected a new and day two hours with the king, and revised elegant church, with the inscription Deo his literary productions, when, as he him- erexit Voltaire. A decided enemy of tyrself said, he never failed to praise the anny and oppression, he afforded aid and good, and quietly to strike out the bad. protection to many persecuted persons; But this friendship continued hardly a among others, to the family of Jean Calas, year. A quarrel between Maupertuis, who had fallen a victim to fanaticism. At president of the Berlin academy, and a that time, he wrote his masterly treatise mathematician named Konig, in which upon toleration. The granddaughter of Voltaire took part, drew upon him the the great Corneille also experienced his displeasure of Frederic, who caused his bounty. In the numerous writings which Akakia, a satire upon Maupertuis, to be he composed in this retreat, his free spirit burnt in the presence of the writer, and employed the weapons of ridicule, and sent him bis dismission. Voltaire return- the boldest eloquence, against all which ed to the king the chamberlain's key and contravened his ideas of freedom and inthe cross of the order which had been dependence. To the clergy he was parconferred on him, with some verses, in ticularly hostile, on account of their intolwhich he compared himself to a lover erance and persecuting spirit. But he who sends back the portrait of his mis- often injured the cause of religion itself tress; but the king soon restored them. while he attacked its servants. His moVoltaire now made a visit to the duchess tives, moreover, were not always of the of Gotha. During his absence, Mauper- highest kind. In 1757, the first edition tuis succeeded in depriving him of the of his works appeared, prepared under his favor of the king, and he concluded to own eye. It reconciled him with Fredreturn to France. When he reached eric the Great. This monarch renewed Frankfort on the Maine, he was stopped his correspondence with Voltaire, and by order of Frederic, because he had sent him his own bust, of porcelain, with with him various productions of the king, the inscription Viro immortali. The emwho feared that he would use them to his press Catharine of Russia sent him, likeprejudice. He was likewise compelled wise, splendid presents, accompanied by to resign the chamberlain's key, his order, the most flattering letters. In return for and his promise of a pension of 22,000 an ivory box, made by herself, and for her livres. The breach between Frederic instructions (prepared for the direction of and Voltaire was now irreparable. Vol- a law commission wbich she had institaire wished to reside in Paris ; but his tuted), he sent her a bracelet netted by his Pucelle d'Orléans had excited so much own hands. In 1769, a medal was stampdispleasure, that he was not allowed to ed in honor of him, the inscription on remain in the capital. He now resided for which was a verse taken from the Henrisome years at Colmar, where he wrote ade : Il ôte aux nations le bandeau de l'erthe Orphan of China, and bought a coun- reur. Some French literati, together try seat in the neighborhood of Geneva.. with Frederic, erected a statue to him, Jean Jacques Rousseau sent him his well- with the inscription Statue erigée à Volknown treatise which had gained the taire par les hommes de lettres ses compaprize of the academy of Dijon. Voltaire triotes ; and Louis XV said, “ He deserves returned him an answer which, among it.” All strangers of distinction who many flattering remarks, contained the passed by Ferney stopped to testify their following sentence: “When I read your esteem for this remarkable man. Joseph treatise, I desire to creep upon all-fours." II only did not visit him. Nevertheless, This ridicule made the author of Emile Voltaire was by no means happy. Too his irreconcilable enemy. Soon after, much accustomed to the constant admiraVoltaire took part in the political conten- tion of the world, he soon became weary tions then prevailing in Geneva ; and, of his quiet life, and went, even in his adhaving become involved in disputes with vanced age (February, 1778), once more many of the principal people, he thought to Paris. Here he found many admirers, it best to leave the place. He therefore who adored him, and many bitter enepurchased the estate of Ferney, in the Pays mies. He was sensible of the dislike ende Gex, where he resided the rest of his tertained towards him; and, therefore, life, with his niece, madame Denis. He when stopped by the officers of the cusdrew manufacturers, and other settlers, toms, with the inquiry if he had any coninto his district, obtained for them, through traband goods with him, he replied, “No, his influence, important advantages, and no; there is nothing contraband here but



ayself." The inquiry of the king, on his therefore interred secretly at Scellières, a rrival, if the decree of the parliament Bernardine abbey, between Nogent and vas still in force against him, made him Troyes. By a decree of the national asinxious; but nothing further was done to sembly (1791), his remains were placed in nolest him. The French academy sent the Pantheon, in Paris, near those of J. J. isree of their members to welcome him, Rousseau and other great men.—The erhough, in similar cases, it was customary terior of Voltaire was quite characteristic. o send but one. The actors waited upon In his countenance, as has been sud,

im in a body: “We have come,” said there was a mixture of the eagle and the hey, to beseech you to inspire us with monkey; and, in character, he united the our odes.” “I live only for you and boldness of the one with something of the arough you” was his answer--a proof malice of the other. He was impetuous hat he considered his dramas as his chief irritable, sensitive, but also mild, compas"roductions; and, in truth, dramatic sionale, benevolent, cheerful, and lively vorks were his last labors. He wrote his from principle. With noble views and Tancrede in the sixty-sixth year of his age. principles, his actions were not always T'he calls upon him were so constant that the most praiseworthy; and many of his le felt hiniself oppressed by them. “I good deeds did not flow from the purest im suffocated," said he," but it is with sources. He had something vacillating oses." Franklin came, with his grand- in his character; and, notwithstanding his on, to see Voltaire : “My son,” said he, hatred of prejudice, he frequently bowed • fall upon your knees before this great to it in a manner which did him little nan." . Voltaire gave the boy his bless- bonor. From vanity he fattered the ng, with the words - God and freedom.” great, and often sought their company for lle had brought with him a new tragedy, the same reason. His fame did not beIrene, which was performed on the loch come great ull after his retirement from of May. The royal family was present, court. He was too selfish to inspire love, and the piece was received with unbound- and avarice is said to have had much as. d applause. The French academy sent cendency over him. Yet he was, in his him their gratulations on this occasion, latter years, the friend of the poor, and ind placed his bust by the side of Cor- the protector of the oppressed. NotwithDeille. At the sixth representation, he standing all his admirers, he gained no ame into the theatre; and, when he had friend. He had great talents, but not an at down in his bor, a player entered, and elevated character; and his writings want presented him with a laurel wreath; and, the charm which only a great soul can it the conclusion of the piece, bis bust give. Nevenheless, he often acted pobly. vas also crowned in the theatre. All The abbé Desfontaines, to whom he had heee excitements, together with incessant shown much kindness, published, without iterary lalons, and the change from his any authority, an edition of the Henriade uccustomed manner of life, affected his from a very imperfect manuscript. Des health so much that it seemed as if he fontaines became unfortunate, repented 'ould not live much longer. lle perceive of what he had done, and Voltaire became d this plainly : “ I have come to Paris," again bis benefactor. Being arrested on he said, “ to find my glory and my grave." account of a dishonorable accusation, the le could not sleep; and a large dose of abbe owed to Voltaire's influence with pium, which he took without the advice malam de Prie his freedom, hes hooor,

bis physician, is thought to have bas- and perhaps bis life. Destontaines recaped his death. When his tenants heard ompensed this favor by a severe critem this sickness, they wished to go to Par- and a bitter lampoon. To a peusant, de

and carry hin, in a litter, to Fervey. prived, by an unjust sentence, of his land, le rested in Paris with the marquis de who applied to Voltaire for assistance, he illette. The latter went to the principal gave 3000 livres, and invited him to stile lera man of St. Sulpice, to abduce bun in Femey. In company, Voltaire was

brig Voltaire to submit to the ceremony agreeable, polite, and a complete courter. hich Cathole Chri-linns undergo on The activity of his temperament was so 'aving the world. The circumstances great that he often labond all night "the case have ten printed dillerently; Even in his eightieth year, he worked at it is certain that Voltaire dad without fourteen hours a day. Among his works reiving the marrament, in the eighty- his drunas holel the first place. He is the th year of his age, May 30, 1776. The worthy rival of Rarine and Corneille, and rhunshop of l'art is said to have denued his pieces are still favorites with the * corpse Christian burial; and it was French. Notwithstanding his great wit, however, Voltaire was not distinguished lished an edition of Voltaire's works, is in comedy. The Henriade has many 70 volumes. A tolerably complete, but perstriking passages, but wants true epic haps not entirely impartial review of the characters, and is faulty in its plan. Among numerous literary contests of Voltaire, is his historical works, the Siècle de Louis given in the Tableau philosophique de l'EsXIV et XV, and the Histoire de Charles prit de M. de Voltaire (Geneva, 1771). XII, the Essai sur l'Histoire générale,sur les VOLTERRA; a town of Tuscany, twenMeurs et l'Esprit des Nations, abound in ty-four miles south-west of Florence, wit! penetrating views. His merits are not those 5000 inhabitants. It is the see of a bisl. of thorough investigation, but of striking op, and has a public seminary of educ: and bappy description, and sagacious ob- tion. The ancient Volaterra was one o servation. His prevailing defect is the ex- the twelve principal cities of Etruria, ank' aggerated estimation of the superiority of had 100,000 inhabitants. Some Etrusca', the French over other modern nations. monuments still remain : among thes. His philosophical romances, treatises, are its walls, with a gate, dedicated t.. smaller poems, narratives, dialogues, &c. Hercules; and the fish-pond, constructe show a comprehensive spirit

, and great of enormous blocks of stone. (See Etruria. felicity of execution. In the department VOLUME (Latin volumen). The volum of fugitive pieces, be is unique. As à of a body has reference to the spac prose writer, he is unequalled, so beauti- which it occupies. To have a correct ide: ful and polished is his expression, so co- of this, imagine a body immersed entirel: pious his wit. Among all the French wri- in a liquid, which neither changes no: ters, he, perhaps, displays, in the fullest penctrates it. If it is now taken out, anı degree, the peculiarities of his nation. we add new liquid, to raise the conteni: The accomplished marchioness du Chate- of the vessel as high as they were wher let, as we have already said, was his inti- the body was immersed, the amount o mate friend: bence the Lettres inédites de the newly-added liquid will give us th la Marq. du Chatelet et Supplément à la volume of the body. Thus we have :: Correspondance de Voltaire avec le Roi de simple means of ascertaining the volum Prusse, etc., avec des Notes histor. (Paris, of small bodies, the irregularity of whic 1818), is an important addition to his bi- presents some difficulty in the way of deography. See La Vie de Voltaire par Con- termining it by ordinary means. Volume dorcet; also La Vie de Voltaire par M. must not be confounded with mass. [Mercier) (Geneva, 1788); Examen des the volume also depends the difference Ouvrages de M. de Voltaire par M. Linguet the absolute and specific gravity: (9. v.) (Brussels, 1788); Vie littéraire de Voltaire VOLUMNIA. (See Coriolanus.) rédigée par de Luchet. The abbe Du- VOLUNTEER, in military language ; 01.'' vernet describes him more particularly as who serves in the army, or undertakes a man, and a private man, in his Vie de particular duty without being obliged $ Voltaire suivie d'Anecdotes qui composent to do: thus officers not unfrequently tal. sa Vie privée (Paris, 1797); see also Mé- part in a campaign, as volunteers. Who moires sur Voltaire et sur ses Ouvrages par an enterprise of peculiar danger is to ! Wagnière et Longchamp, ses Secrétaires undertaken, as the assault of a formidabi (1826, two vols.). Wagnière was directed battery, the taking of a square, &c., a cr. by the empress Catharine,who bought Vol- is made for volunteers ; and those wli. taire's library, to arrange it in St. Peters- survive receive rewards of money, « burg, as it had stood in Ferney. The Vie medals, swords, &c., or promotion. Some · de Voltaire, by Mazure, is very partial. times there are also bodies of troops co! His works were published by Beaumar- sisting entirely of volunteers; e. g. th: chais, at Kehl, 1784, seq. in 70 vols. 410 Prussian volunteer riflemen, attached and 8vo, and 92 vols. 12mo; and, by Pal- each battalion in the campaigns of 181: issot, with notes, at Paris, 1796, seq. The '14 and '15, and the volunteer comp. Pièces inédites appeared at Paris in 1820. nies of citizens raised, in 1794, in Er Since 1817, seven editions of the works land. These mostly laid down their arn. of Voltaire have been published (the in 1801 ; but when the war broke oi cheapest by Touquet, 1820). In 1823, again in 1803, and the intention of t1'. some unpublished works of his were French to effect a landing was found in the imperial hermitage, at Peters- nounced, the inhabitants of Great Britai burg: the most important are a bitter rose anéw, and the ministers spoke commentary upon Rousseau's Contrat nearly 500,000 volunteers being in arms. Social, and a tale; the latter has since VOLUTEs. (See Architecture,vol. i, p. 340. lxe'd published. Dupont has lately pub Von; a German preposition, meanin,


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